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Swans Limited Live Album Reviewed By The Agit Reader.


The Agit Reader's "no causal listener" review of We Rose from Your Bed With the Sun in Our Head the new limited live release by the Swans.

Published 5/15/12:
" With live records, there’s never a happy medium. A live record seems to be only able to go to one extreme or the other as far as quality. But We Rose from Your Bed With the Sun in Our Head, Swans’ double-live CD originally released in a handmade edition of 1,000, is definitely, positively not like any live record to have come before it.

On studio recordings, Swans possess the looming power of sonic masters, forcing the listener into a voluntary submissive state as each song progresses. Live, Swans exhibit an aggressive sincerity—whether obliviously happy or indulging a jaded, misanthropic bent—that is devoid of the irony plaguing much modern music. As such, there is no casual Swans listener; either you accept the bludgeoning or you skip away unscathed.

Michael Gira seems to acknowledge this sentiment in publicized notes to his fans. There are exclaimed “thank you’s” and blessings abound to all of those involved. There are explanations of the sonic vivification he seeks to achieve, as well as a hope that these live recordings will grant the listener a “positive experience of some sort.” Perhaps Gira himself exists in the extremity of how his music affects fans. Maybe that sonic hammering Gira and company (Gira being the only remaining original member) dole out is meant as a secured dosage, the end of which will bring about the cure and the positive experience he wishes for us. All I know is that if I open my eyes in the middle of this version of “Eden Prison,” I will find myself a drooling, twitching mess. But if I manage to keep them closed until the last snapped word comes of Gira’s mouth, everything will be okay and resolved with the universe. This must be the positive experience he’s talking about. Seeing this happen live was surely a visceral experience, but being able to take it and put it through your own private speakers makes for a personal, holy event thankfully devoid of bathroom and bar lines. We Rose gives both a glimpse of the current permutation of Swans (“No Words, No Thoughts,” “Jim,” “Eden Prison”), and a new insight into the older work (“Sex, God, Sex” and “Beautiful Child” from 1987’s Children of God), with a band that can rain hellfire upon a crowd and still maintain the warmth of the original work. So while this is far from the whole picture of what Swans are live, it is as nice a glimpse as you are going to get." words by Michael O’Shaughnessy

Purchase We Rose from Your Bed With the Sun in Our Head double compact disc HERE.